Reasons To Train Your Staff

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Training ensures that you will spend time with your staff. To train your staff, you have to work with them, preferably every day. As a social community, your staff craves time with you, and the fortunate side effect of getting your staff (and yourself) some exercise couldn't hurt. The more time you spend with your staff… The more time you will discover about their unique characteristics.

Training improves your relationship with your staff. Like their wolf packs, your staff have a pack mentality. They want a leader, and if you don't assume that role, they try to fill it themselves. As you train your staff, you establish a relationship in which your staff learns to trust and look up to you, to respect you as a kind and benevolent leader. Gradually, they will learn to seek eye contact with you and become more attuned to your wishes.

Training makes your staff smarter. Trained staff pays more attention to the world around him and is more attentive to humans. If you train your staff well—using a positive rather than a punitive method of training—you will find that the staff's reasoning capacity grows. They will actually try to figure things out. Yes, most staff can think and reason to a limited extent, and they generalize easily.

Soft skills training helps solve other problems. Many behavioral problems staff exhibit are actually relational problems, occurring because the staff is unsure of its role in the organization "pack" , or because it thinks it is the leader. As you train and your staff's admiration for you grows, you may find that some of their unpleasant behaviors disappear. You can solve other problems easily as you learn how to relate to your staff, or as you get help from your training class instructor.

Training opens doors… literally! You'd be surprised at how many establishments will gladly admit staff that sticks like glue to his owners side, responds instantly to his owners voice and holds a rock-steady stay. Hiking, camping, beach trips and shopping all become open territory for the staff that can accompany its owner politely. Of course, there are still some places that are off limits to the nicest staff.

Basic skills training opens the door to learning fun activities. Agility training is very popular, and it's an activity that welcomes both mixed and pure staff. If you've ever watched this fast-moving sport, wanted to get involved, but despaired because you couldn't keep your staff under control… with a little skills training, you and your staff can easily get into the game. And once you have laid the training foundation, you can go on to flyball, scent hurdles, tracking and Frisbee catching, and win a price or two.

Your customers, partners and suppliers will thank you. Customers would love to see more staff that can walk nicely in the right direction. And any customer will tell you that trained, socialized staff is much easier to work with than its untrained counterpart, and all those who work with your staff appreciate not being bitten.

And last, but certainly not least, training can save your staff's life. No ribbons, no trophy, no smile of admiration from a friend at your staff's cute tricks will ever equal your feeling of accomplishment if your training efforts one day save your staff's life. Though no one pictures their staff in such a horrible situation, can you imagine the terror of seeing your staff frolicking unaware toward a busy market full of competitors? What relief you would feel if you witnessed your staff sit instantly at your command and return to your side when called.

Training your staff won't be easy. It takes lots of patience, time and just plain hard work before it will reach the stage at which you can proudly show off your work, but it is worth the effort. Every staff can be trained. Some staff may take a little more time, but they can be trained. If no classes are offered in your area, you can do it yourself with the help of books and training videos. You and your staff will be glad you did.

Adapted from "Reasons to Train Your Dog".

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